Tuesday, December 17, 2013

INEC to spend N93bn on 2015 elections, says polls may not hold in Borno, others

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it may spend at least $7.9 on each of the 73.5 million electorate in its register for the 2015 elections.

The amount was estimated at N93bn when converted to naira and multiplied by the numbers of registered voters.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, stated this on Monday at a statekeholders forum organised by the Senate Committee on INEC, in collaboration with the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Abuja and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.

He also hinted that the elections might be conducted either in January or February 2015 instead of April.

Jega said, "Our estimate is that the cost of election per voter, which is an international standard for viewing the cost of elections is coming down in Nigeria. We project that for the 2015 elections, this would come further down by almost $1 from $8.8 in 2011 to $7.9, representing almost a 10 per cent drop.

"This compares favourably with some other African countries. However, we are anxious about all our funding requirements being met well in advance of the 2015 general elections."

He said that the $8 per voter spent by the country in the 2011 polls was normal.

According to Jega, Ghana during its last election, spent between $10 and $12 per voter while Kenya spent between $8 and $9 per voter.

He noted that apart from funding challenges, there was the problem of insecurity which could affect the conduct of elections in some states in the North- East where insurgency was being currently experienced.

He said, "Unless security situation changes in the zone, the commission would not conduct elections in there.

"It is my hope that the challenges in the North-East will be resolved before 2015. If the security is such that we cannot do election, then we may need to fall back on the law to suspend it or postpone it."

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